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  1. Dak Prescott and Cam Newton find themselves in similar situations entering Sunday's regular-season opener at Carolina.Both quarterbacks are adjusting to a new group of receivers and playing behind banged-up offensive lines.The Cowboys will be looking to replace wide receiver Dez Bryant Womens Zack Martin Jersey , the team's career leader in touchdown catches, and tight end Jason Whitten, who retired after 15 seasons.That's no easy task.The primary options to be slot receiver are Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns and rookie Michael Gallup. But Tavon Austin and Terrance Williams could be factors, too. Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin are the top two tight ends."I think each of the guys we have who are going to be up for this game are versatile," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "You can put them in different spots."Dallas also has holes to fill up front with All-Pro center Travis Frederick battling a rare auto-immune disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome and is doubtful for the game. Six-year veteran Joe Looney will get the start alongside rookie left guard Connor Williams. However Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin is set to start after dealing with a hyperextended left knee in the second preseason game.Newton faces similar issues in Carolina.The Panthers upgraded their speed at wide receiver in the offseason by trading for veteran Torrey Smith, signing free agent slot receiver Jairus Wright and using a first-round draft pick on D.J. Moore. All three figure to play a role in the passing game alongside returning No. 1 receiver Devin Funchess."We don't know what we have yet and that is why Sunday is so important for everybody — because we finally find out," Newton said.Carolina's offensive line was going to have a difficult time replacing All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell — and that was before it got hit hard by the injuries.Second-team All-Pro right tackle Daryl Williams, left tackle Matt Kalil and Norwell replacement Amini Silatolu all went down with knee injuries in the preseason. Kalil went on injured reserve , meaning Taylor Moton will make his first NFL start at left tackle. Williams and Silatolu returned to practice this week, but it's still unclear if they'll be healthy enough to play against Dallas.RARE HOME OPENER: Coach Ron Rivera joked this week that he "has to get used to" the idea of playing a home opener. In Rivera's eight seasons in Carolina, this is only the second time the team has opened the season at home.DAVIS SUSPENSION: The Panthers will be without weakside linebacker Thomas Davis, who's suspended four games for testing positive for PEDs.That's a pretty big blow to the defense given Davis' skills and leadership. But Rivera is high on 2015 first-round draft pick Shaq Thompson, who has had an outstanding preseason filling in. Thompson was drafted as Davis' heir apparent, but the veteran continued playing at a high level, thus limiting Thompson's reps. So this is Thompson's chance to shine.Rivera said Thompson has potential to be "an elite linebacker in the league."ELLIOTT FALLING FOWARD: Ezekiel Elliott doesn't have to worry about a suspension hanging over his head to start this season. The Cowboys' third-year running back may be primed for a big season, which concerns Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly."He's an elite running back," Kuechly said. "He's big, he's strong and he's powerful. He will run though you Womens Cole Beasley Jersey , and he always falls forward (for more yards). ... So when we hit him, we have to keep him where he's at and not let him do that."McCAFFREY'S ROLE: It's time to find out if Rivera backs up his statement about wanting to get running back Christian McCaffrey "25-30 touches per game." Rivera has said the team would like to use McCaffrey similar to how the San Diego Chargers used Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson.That seems like a lot of touches, particularly for a player with a slender build such as McCaffrey. But it's hard to blame Carolina for wanting to get the ball into the hands of its playmaker as much as possible.KICKING DEBUT: Brett Maher is set for his NFL regular-season debut as the replacement for Cowboys career field goal leader Dan Bailey. Dallas cut the second-most accurate kicker in league history because of Bailey's struggles after an injury last season and his relatively large salary for his position. The 28-year-old Maher has four years of CFL experience."In this profession, every single thing that you do is kind of pressure-packed," Maher said.AP Sports Writer Schuyler Dixon in Dallas, Texas contributed to this report. There’s no denying the greatness of the 2018 Los Angeles Rams, but to think the Cowboys have no shot this weekend in the Divisional round would be a huge mistake. When looking at the Rams in 2018, their offense was absolutely incredible. They finished the season ranked second in total yards (421.1), second in points per game (32.9), fifth in passing yards per game (281.7), and third in rushing yards per game (139.4). Scary right? Of course, but there’s reason to believe the Cowboys defense can overcome all of this with a good outing on Saturday Night.Put Pressure on Jared GoffMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsIn the first six weeks of the season, Jared Goff was an MVP candidate, and looked to be one of the best quarterbacks in the league. His numbers in those first six weeks were absolutely remarkable and his averages per game looked like this:321.1 passing yards per game2 passing TD’s per game0.8 interceptions per game68.5 completion % per game105.7 passer rating per game1.8 sacks per gameThose are remarkable numbers, but when we take a look at Jared Goff’s numbers the last six weeks of the season, they tell a much different story for the third-year quarterback. His averages over the final six weeks of the season look like this:259 passing yards per game 1.67 passing TD’s per game1 interception per game60.5 completion % per game86.7 passer rating per game2.3 sacks per gameThe question to be asked is what is the huge difference from the first half of the season to the second half of the season, and I think the answer it pretty simple. In the first half of the year, Goff was getting plenty of time to stand in the pocket, set his feet Womens Tyron Smith Jersey , and find the open man. Over the last six weeks of the season, Goff has dealt with much more pressure, and as the pressure came, so did his mistakes.Play 1 - Play-action from a clean pocketThe first thing you’ll notice on this play is the play-action fake. The Rams are a heavy play-action team, and lead the league in play-action percentages with 34% of their passing plays coming off of the play-fake. The second thing you’ll notice is a squeaky clean pocket to throw from. Due to the clean pocket, Goff is able to take his drop, hit his back foot, and deliver a beautiful ball to wide receiver Cooper Kupp, which thankfully, the Cowboys will not have to deal with. Now let’s take a look at a similar play that happened later in the season.Play 2 - Play-action with some pressureThe route-concepts, and defensive coverage is a little different on this play, but the point still remains the same. If you want Jared Goff to make mistakes you have to apply consistent pressure. Rod Marinelli and Kris Richard aren’t huge fans of blitzing, but this is a week we may see those dialed up a bit. With the amount of plays the Rams will run play-action, dialing up a blitz on those long developing passing plays can throw the Rams offense completely out of whack.2. Getting Dak Involved in the Running Game Early Tim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsI feel like a broken record at this point, but the point still stands. DAK PRESCOTT DOES NOT RUN ENOUGH IN THIS COWBOYS OFFENSE. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s take a look at why the Cowboys need to incorporate Dak’s legs more come Saturday Night.First off, in games that Dak Prescott scores a rushing touchdown the Cowboys hold a 16-3 record. With zero context included, the Cowboys almost always win the football game when Dak Prescott punches it in on the ground. Second, in games in 2018 that the Rams defense faced a “mobile” quarterback Youth Anthony Brown Jersey , their record was 3-1 (CHI, KC, SEAx2), but in those games the quarterbacks involved combined for 21 carries and 143 yards. In those games, the Rams also gave up 31 against the Seahawks twice, 51 against the Chiefs, and 15 against the Bears, that leaves them only outscoring their opponents 134-128.One of the biggest reasons getting Dak’s legs involved early will be key is due to the way the Rams play defense. I’m sure you’re aware of how disruptive the Rams front seven can be against the pass, and that is in large part due to how aggressive they are getting up field. The Cowboys broke it out some in the Wild Card Round, but incorporating the QB sweeps and QB draws would be a great way to combat Los Angeles’ aggressiveness when rushing up the field. If Ezekiel Elliott is finding success running the football (which we should all expect him too), adding Dak’s legs to the game will not only slow the Rams pass rush down, but also give those undersized linebackers a little more to think about before they can flow to the football.3. Do Not Get Run HappyTim Heitman-USA TODAY SportsEveryone loves Ezekiel Elliott, and everyone should. Zeke is without a doubt one of the best running backs in the game, along with Todd Gurley. The one thing the Cowboys need to try and not do is overfeed Ezekiel Elliott. Before you call me crazy, hear me out. The Rams have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL according to the statistics. In 2018, the Rams rank 23rd in the NFL in total rushing yards given up (1,957), and 32nd in the NFL in yards per attempt (5.1). The last thing you want to do against a team that is bad at something, is tip your cap and let them knows it’s coming more often than naught. No matter what the stats say Womens Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , if the Cowboys go into this game with a “run it right at them approach” it’s not going to work. With Aaron Donald, Ndamukong Suh, and Michael Brockers standing on the other side of the ball, keeping them guessing will be a huge factor when deciding this game. For example, Ezekiel Elliott biggest run of the game last week against Seattle came at a time the Seahawks weren’t expecting the run. The Cowboys were in their two-minute offense and were looking to move the ball quickly hoping to at least get into field goal range before the half. On this drive, Prescott out-touched Elliott 6 to 1. Elliott’s one carry was the 44-yard run that set the Cowboys up for a 11-yard touchdown pass to Michael Gallup. You could say the Cowboys passing attack lulled the Seahawks defense to sleep before a run outside for 44 yards. While I’ve heard a lot of people this week say they hope Zeke’s gets 30+ touches on the ground, and while the stats say that is exactly what they should do, that may be feeding right into what the Rams defense wants. 4. Containing Todd GurleyKirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsShutting down Todd Gurley is impossible, let’s get that out of the way right now. Containing Todd Gurley is possible and that is exactly what the Cowboys defense needs to try to do. In the Rams three losses in 2018, Gurley was held under 100 yards and 20 carries in each of those games. Two of those losses came at the end of the year dealing with a knee injury, which is something he still is dealing with. But containing Gurley on the ground isn’t the only thing the Cowboys defense has to focus on. Gurley is one of the best receiving running backs in the NFL and he can completely take over a game not only as a runner but also as a receiver. As we talked about earlier, the Rams use a lot of play-action to attack opposing defenses down field, they also use the screen game off of play-action. While applying pressure to Jared Goff is also one of the key factors in winning the game, not getting too aggressive and allowing Gurley to leak out on the screens is going to be just as important. This game is by no means going to be a cake walk for either team, but the Cowboys matchup better with the Rams than most people want to realize. If the Cowboys defense plays a similar game that they did against the Saints, the Cowboys will win this football game. That all comes with putting pressure on Jared Goff, containing Todd Gurley, and playing smart disciplined football. 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  2. The Los Angeles Rams finalized a trade for Jacksonville Jaguars EDGE Dante Fowler Womens Greg Zuerlein Jersey , Jr. right at the trade deadline. Fowler arrives to help shore up the Rams’ outside edge pressure joining Matt Longacre and Samson Ebukam as the primary options as rookie Ogbonnia Okoronkwo continues to progress in the window following his departure from the Physically Unable to Perform list.So to get a better sense of who the Rams just added, I linked up with Alfie Crow from Big Cat Country , the SB Nation community for Jacksonville Jaguars fans.What kind of player are the Rams getting in Fowler? What are his strengths and weaknesses on the field?What ultimately led the Jaguars to this trade? We heard of grumblings of locker room discord. Was that something that has followed Fowler since Year 1 or something more recent?Overall, what were your feelings on the compensation? Do you feel comfortable about the trade overall given what you got in return for his skill set and where the Jags are headed overall?Thanks to Alfie for the time. As the weeks continue to roll by , the Los Angeles Rams continue to return more players and remain healthy.As for the injury reports, the only player who will miss the game for the Rams is kicker Greg Zuerlein.2018 LA Rams Week 6 injury reportNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusThe Rams sound confident that WR’s Cooper Kupp and Brandin Cooks will pass the final test in the concussion protocol tomorrow as they practiced in full today Womens Lamarcus Joyner Jersey , per Head Coach Sean McVay:Defensive tackle Michael Brockers is also good to go after showing up with an ankle issue on the injury report.As for Denver:2018 Denver Broncos Week 6 injury reportNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusThe Denver Broncos will be missing their starting right tackle in Jared Veldheer and contributor on defense and special teams in Pacman Jones.Look for this to be a battle of two relatively healthy teams. This game is earmarked for a bit of cold weather and snow.
  3. As he tried to resolve issues that led safety Reshad Jones to take himself out of a game Womens Customized Los Angeles Rams Jerseys , Miami Dolphins coach Adam Gase acknowledged Monday didn't feel like a typical day after a victory."No," Gase said. "It's slightly irritating."Gase said Jones will be back in the lineup this week at Green Bay, and added that communication problems between defensive coordinator Matt Burke and players need to be addressed.Gase and Jones met hours after the two-time Pro Bowl safety watched the second half of Sunday's 13-6 win over the New York Jets from the sideline."Me and him are on the same page," Gase said.The coach declined to say why Jones removed himself from the game. But the Dolphins' plan to rotate safeties may have contributed, and Gase indicated he's not comfortable with communication between Burke and players."I have to get some things cleaned up as far as how we go about things," Gase said. "That's what today is going to be mostly about."At quarterback, Brock Osweiler is likely to make his fifth consecutive start in place of Ryan Tannehill, who remains sidelined by a throwing shoulder injury. Gase declined to rule out Tannehill against the Packers, but said it wasn't even certain he would be allowed to throw Monday or Tuesday.Gase calls offensive plays, but said he has recently become more involved with the defense. The Dolphins gave up 102 points in the three games before Sunday, with blown coverage in the secondary a recurring problem.Miami (5-4) intercepted Jets rookie Sam Darnold four times , but Gase said there's no guarantee of a carry-over Sunday against the Packers."We're playing a different guy this week," Gase said. "If we do a lot of things we did this last game, the results will be different. Aaron Rodgers is a little different than Sam Darnold."Jones showed up in the head coach's office Sunday night to discuss things, said Gase, who pledged the issue won't linger."I'm telling you: We're going to move on," Gase said.Player discontent is nothing new since Gase became coach in 2016. He parted with stars Ndamukong Suh, Jarvis Landry, Mike Pouncey and Jay Ajayi in an attempt to improve the locker room culture, and last month Gase released Jordan Phillips two days after the defensive tackle's outburst when he came out of a game.But Jones is under contract through 2022 and not likely going anywhere. Any disciplinary action will be handled internally, Gase said.Also to be dealt with were the latest injuries for the hobbled Dolphins. Starting tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ja'Wuan James limped out of Sunday's win, and their status this week was uncertain. Cornerback Bobby McCain was cleared after being checked for a possible concussion.If Tannehill sits out again this week Los Angeles Rams T-Shirt , he'll also have next week's bye to continue his recovery. His throwing rehabilitation has produced mixed results."We've worked some different distances," Gase said. "It's weird. One time it's good, one time it doesn't feel right."Game balls: LA Rams Vs Minnesota Vikings Those three receivers in blue and yella’ were cool and deadly on Thursday, and probably deserve some sort of catchy nickname by now. This week though, there is a single game ball, and you can probably guess who gets it... Jared Goff, QBI suppose it’s time to gush about our quarterback some more. On Sunday he had a career game against the Chargers. Four days later, he leap-frogged Sunday’s gem with a game for the ages; dimes upon dimes, wedged into tight windows against one of the league’s premier defenses. Here’s a take that piping hot. Lately he’s been running the offense in a similar fashion to a certain former-Colts quarterback with a huge forehead. Yup, I said it! Omaha!Seriously, now that his accuracy has cleaned up Los Angeles Rams Hats , Goff has transformed into an actual weapon, the tip of the arrow. Of course everything compliments everything when an offense gets humming like this, but all of the sudden there’s not very many quarterbacks I can imagine running this machine better than Goff does. Of course, let’s see how things shake out over the next three quarters of the season, but so far so good. The Vikings and Chargers both were missing their top pass rushers, but are still considered some of the better defenses around, talent-wise. Now I will let his stat line and some tweets complete this love-fest.26/3378.79% 5 TDs 0 INTs QBR 158.3
  4. To the shock of many , we’ve gone a few months without talking about Earl Thomas and his connection to the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe the world is going to end or something.Thomas and Dallas seemed like two dancers that were eyeing each other from across the floor all night long leading up to the NFL’s trade deadline. It was a connection born out of Thomas running to the Cowboys locker room after a Christmas Eve game in 2017, the whole thing was heightened all the more when Dallas visited Seattle back in Week 3.The Seahawks won that game (Dallas won the one that mattered in the playoffs) and it was a particularly hurtful day as Thomas had two interceptions. After the game he told reporters that Cowboys coaches had told him they’d “see him soon”, hinting at an inevitable trade, but nothing ever happened and unfortunately Thomas was lost for the season just a few weeks later.Since Thomas did announce that the Dallas coaches talked to him, the NFL apparently felt it necessary to see if Dallas tampered with the situation. Their findings are in and no harm was done.Earl Thomas is going to be a free agent very soon. If the Cowboys want to ultimately make things happen they don’t have to tamper, they just have to get it done. The Dallas Cowboys were famous for their Triplets back in the day. Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin combined to take the Cowboys to highest of highs. Ever since, the Cowboys have been trying to get back there. They have rolled through a multitude of quarterback Womens Brett Maher Jersey , running back and wide receiver combinations but none have panned out in the way they hoped. They are now trying out a new set of Triplets. Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and Amari Cooper are auditioning, and in their first playoff game together, they all came through.Dak Prescott didn’t put up the biggest numbers in the game. He only had 226 yards passing and one touchdown. He did have almost a 67% completion rate, but threw a poor red zone interception (which should have been called back for defensive pass interference). His quarterback rating was only 83.7. But when it counted, when his team needed him most, he converted a 3rd and 14 through sheer will. He then backed that up with a rushing touchdown and basically sealed the deal. Ezekiel Elliott just did his thing. His “I’m going to get mine” thing. 26 carries for 137 yards and one touchdown. A 5.3 yards per carry average. Four catches for 32 yards. All together, that’s 30 touches for 169 yards from scrimmage. Let’s just get this out of the way Authentic Travis Frederick Jersey , Zeke is the premier back in the NFL, a do-it-all, physical-with-speed, run-catch-block, stud. Amari Cooper was the late addition to the party, The trade for him mid-season transformed the Cowboys offense. They now had a wide receiver who could create separation on anybody, who could demand double-teams, and could take it to the house on any play. On Saturday night Authentic Leighton Vander Esch Jersey , he caught seven pass for 106 yards and was instrumental in setting up Cowboys points. No other Cowboy had over 32 yards receiving on the day. Cooper was the man, Seattle knew it, but couldn’t stop him.The new Triplets are a work in progress, they have so much to try and accomplish that it is almost a disservice to compare them to the old Triplets. Still, for one night, in the playoffs, they got the job done. Maybe it is just the beginning of something special. Custom Denver Broncos Jerseys
  5. Mailbag: The New Rotation At WR? - DallasCowboys.comWith Amari Cooper added to the mix Color Rush Brett Maher Jersey , what will the new rotation at WR look like coming off the bye week?Jerry: Cooper Will Change Offense’s Dynamic - Rob Phillips, DallasCowboys.comThis is exactly what the Cowboys offense needs, a dynamic player.This is what must happen for the Amari Cooper trade to be deemed a success for the Cowboys - Matt Mosley, SportsDayWith the Cowboys still right in the thick of the NFC East race, what must the Cowboys do to get Amari Cooper going, and make the blockbuster trade payoff.Cowboys have addressed the WR problem, now they need to figure out the Tyron Smith one - Tom Ryle, BloggingTheBoysThe Cowboys offensive line has been far from elite so far in 2018. Tyron Smith’s regression is a huge part of the reason why. Ryle breaks down what might be causing the 27-year-old to struggle as much as he has so far.Grades For Tyron Smith Are ‘Pretty Darn Great’ - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.comThis is why football is so great. Different people see different things. Here’s what OL coach Paul Alexander has to say about Tyron Smith’s play to start the year.3 prospects the Cowboys could target in Round 2 of the 2019 NFL draft , including a perfect fit at safety - John Owning, SportsDayIt’s never too early for draft talk, and with the Cowboys trading their first-round pick for Amari Cooper, there will be plenty of scenarios to run through before we get to April.Cowboys set to release Terrance Williams in 2019, but not before - Patrik Walker, 247SportsWalker speculates about the former Baylor wide receiver’s future with the Cowboys.Cowboys who need to be better after the bye - John Williams, InsideTheStarThere is always room for improvement. Here are some guys that need to be better coming off the bye week.Dak Prescott Holding Cowboys Together While Other Teams in Turmoil Falling Apart - Mike Freeman, Bleacher ReportHere is an interesting spin on who is keeping the Cowboys’ heads above water. Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley are friends from their days as foes at Ohio State and Penn State.Now that they're set to share the field for the first time as pros, the running back of the Dallas Cowboys remembers his only college encounter with Barkley Color Rush Jaylon Smith Jersey , the promising rookie of the New York Giants.To wit, the matching hurdle plays that Elliott recalls when Barkley was a freshman for the Nittany Lions and outgained the reigning offensive MVP from the first championship game in the four-team playoff era a season earlier. Elliott's Buckeyes got the bigger prize, a 38-10 win."I went out and hurdled a guy and literally the next drive he comes back and hurdles one of our guys," Elliott said. "That was pretty cool to me just to see him come back and do the same thing."Just as in that scenario three years ago, Elliott is the established star after leading the NFL in rushing as a rookie in 2016, and Barkley is the first-year upstart. As for the bigger prize Sunday night, the NFC East rivals need the win with both coming off season-opening losses."We don't worry about that," first-year Giants coach Pat Shurmur said. "That's fun for everybody to talk about outside the building. We didn't do enough in the first game to win the game, and we're working to do what we can to win this next one. Period. End of story."It could be just the start of the Elliott-Barkley story. Friends since that night in Columbus , Ohio, after Barkley rushed for 194 yards while Elliott had 153 yards and a touchdown, they are now among the most important pieces for storied franchises trying to get back to the Super Bowl.And each was the first running back taken in his draft: Elliott fourth overall in 2016 and Barkley at No. 2 this year."They're powerfully built guys," Shurmur said. "When I say 'collision balance,' in the hole, guys bouncing off, and they can keep their balance. (Elliott's) production in his first two years had nothing to do with us selecting Saquon, but they're similar in a lot of ways."Things to consider as these rivals meet within the first two weeks of the season for the sixth time in seven years:EYES ON THE RUNNERSThe Cowboys need to establish Elliott earlier than they did in a 16-8 loss to Carolina, but will need more help from a passing game still trying to figure out life after Jason Witten and Dez Bryant.The Giants wouldn't mind getting more from Barkley , even though a 68-yard touchdown in a 20-15 loss to Jacksonville made him the franchise's first to debut with a 100-yard rushing game (106). Now he'll try to be the first Giants rookie since Eddie Price in 1950 with consecutive 100-yard outings.DON'T FORGET THE BLOCKINGThere are questions up front for both teams coming out of the openers. Giants right tackle Ereck Flowers drew tripping and holding penalties on the first series after an offseason move from the left side. Free agent addition Nate Solder had a holding penalty at left tackle.The Cowboys are still adjusting to Joe Looney at center with four-time Pro Bowler Travis Frederick out indefinitely with a nerve disorder. Rookie left guard Connor Williams was beaten for two sacks. And one of the mainstays, five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith, had a pair of penalties.BECKHAM'S BACKIn his first game since an ankle injury 11 months ago and since signing $95, five-year extension, Odell Beckham Jr. had 11 catches for 111 yards against the Jaguars. The star receiver has had his moments against the Cowboys, most notably the leaping one-handed catch for a touchdown as a rookie four years ago. That was one of his two games against Dallas with two TDs. He has five scores in six games against the Cowboys.NOT SO SPECIALGiants punt returner Kaelin Clay, signed after the final cuts, had 4 yards on three returns. He fumbled the last one at the Giants 19-yard line, but he is getting a second chance. The Cowboys cut Dan Bailey Youth Travis Frederick Jersey , the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, in favor of Brett Maher. The CFL veteran missed his first NFL kick, from 47 yards, when the Cowboys were trying to get within seven points late in the third quarter. Custom Carolina Panthers Jerseys
  6. WASHINGTON (AP) — Not only did the 2018 Washington Nationals fail to get over the hump — despite those infamous camels — they didn’t even make the postseason Noah Syndergaard Jersey , let alone finally win a playoff series for the first time.“It’s not something you want to go through,” Bryce Harper said. “You have all the hopes and aspirations to be one of the best teams in baseball in spring training. We did what we could to possibly get there, but we didn’t do enough.”Now the big question looming over the earlier-than-expected offseason becomes whether Harper will leave as a free agent.“Nobody knows if I’m going to be back or nobody knows if I am going to be in a different uniform,” the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL MVP said. “If something happens, I am not afraid of change.”Plenty of roster shuffling is expected for a club that finished 82-80 for second place in the NL East under rookie manager Dave Martinez after winning two consecutive division titles with the discarded Dusty Baker.Nothing will matter quite as much as what happens with Harper, who is not only one of the on-field leaders of the Nationals, he is one of the most prominent players in the entire sport.That’s why the slugging outfielder, who posted team highs of 34 homers, 100 RBIs, 103 runs (tied) and 130 walks, should get a contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars, perhaps even surpassing the record for the largest deal in baseball history.“With these type of deals you’re talking about, you’re not betting on the baseball player, you’re betting on the person,” general manager Mike Rizzo said. “And he’s a person we’d like to have with us.”A resolution to that, however it goes , would help Rizzo determine what resources he has to use toward all of the other issues that need addressing.“I consider this year an anomaly,” Rizzo said.A look at what else to know about the Nationals as thoughts turn to 2019:INJURIES TO BLAME?Both Rizzo and Martinez — along with some of their players — pointed to injuries as a contributing factor in the disappointing season. 1B Ryan Zimmerman, 2B Daniel Murphy, OF Adam Eaton and C Matt Wieters each played in fewer than 100 games. Key backup Howie Kendrick played in only 40. RHP Stephen Strasburg missed about a third of the season. 3B Anthony Rendon was sideline for a few weeks early on. Closer Sean Doolittle and other members of the bullpen sat out stretches, too. “We were always missing pieces,” Martinez said. “As we (cleared) one hurdle, something happened.”MARTINEZ’S FUTUREThere have been questions about whether Martinez will keep his job. Rizzo has been supportive, although the GM seemed to be in Baker’s corner, too. “We haven’t considered anything else. We think he’s got a firm grasp on the clubhouse. He’s doing a good job in the dugout,” Rizzo said. “I think he’s getting better each and every day, each and every game.” As for what Martinez thinks he might do differently next season? “We’re going to spend a lot more time on just the fundamentals of baseball and doing the little things,” he said. “Because little things, to me, can become really big things.”SCHERZER AND STRASBURG Max Scherzer’s 300 strikeouts, 2.53 ERA, 220 2/3 innings and various other stats showed once again how valuable the righty is. Beyond him and Strasburg Michael Conforto Jersey , though, there’s not much there in the rotation. Washington could add at least two, maybe three, starters.SOTO AND ROBLESThe most promising news of 2018 was the discovery of 19-year-old outfielder Juan Soto, the NL Rookie of the Month in June, July and September who finished with a .292 average, 22 homers, 70 RBIs and 79 walks. Only two other teenagers (Harper was one) ever hit 20 HRs in a season. Another young outfielder, 21-year-old Victor Robles, also appears to be a keeper.SO MANY NEEDSThe Nationals must find starters at second base and catcher. They need bullpen help. They need new bench pieces. CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs exercised their $20 million option on Cole Hamels on Friday, solidifying their rotation for next year, and traded fellow left-hander Drew Smyly to the Texas Rangers.Hamels, who turns 35 in December, went 4-3 with a 2.36 ERA in 12 starts after he was acquired in a July 27 trade with Texas — a frequent trade partner for Chicago since Theo Epstein took over the Cubs’ front office in 2011. Had the Cubs declined the option and paid a $6 million buyout, the Rangers would have paid the Cubs an additional $6 million.The 29-year-old Smyly is heading to Texas after missing his only year in Chicago as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery in June 2017. The Cubs also parted with a player to be named in exchange for a player to be named.Smyly signed a $10 million, two-year contract with Chicago last December. He was healthy at the end of last season , but the contending Cubs ran out of time in terms of bringing him back.Chicago also claimed infielder Jack Reinheimer off waivers from the New York Mets. The 26-year-old Reinheimer hit .167 in 21 games with New York this year.Hamels gives manager Joe Maddon a deep group of starting pitchers as the Cubs try for their fifth consecutive playoff appearance. Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Yu Darvish also are expected to return, with Mike Montgomery and Tyler Chatwood waiting in the wings.Hamels, a former first-round pick, made his major league debut with Philadelphia in 2006. He is 156-114 with a 3.40 ERA in 13 big league seasons.He was working on perhaps the worst season of his career when Chicago got him from Texas for right-hander Eddie Butler, minor league pitcher Rollie Lacy and a player to be named. He was 5-9 with a 4.72 ERA in 20 starts with the last-place Rangers at the time of the trade, but the Cubs felt a change of scenery and a pennant race might help him get back on track.They were right.Hamels had an instant impact with Chicago, going 4-0 with a sparkling 0.79 ERA in his first five starts with the team. He was unbeaten with the Cubs until he was hit hard in a loss at Arizona in his 10th start on Sept. 19.When the NL wild-card game went into extra innings, Hamels made just his second major league relief appearance and responded with two scoreless innings in Chicago’s 2-1 loss to Colorado. He is 7-6 with a 3.41 ERA in 17 career playoff appearances.The option completes the deal Hamels signed with Philadelphia in July 2012, bringing the total value to $158 million for seven years.Hamels struck out 13 while pitching a no-hitter at Wrigley Field in his final start with Philadelphia in 2015. He was traded to Texas six days later, and helped the Rangers to two AL West titles.Earlier this week, the Cubs exercised their $6.25 million option for Pedro Strop and fellow reliever Brandon Kintzler picked up his $5 million player option.Strop, one of the baseball’s most consistent relievers since he was acquired in a July 2013 trade with Baltimore, went 6-1 with 13 saves and a 2.26 ERA in 60 appearances last season.
  7. SAN DIEGO — This is crunch time for the Colorado Rockies Cecil Cooper Jersey , who dropped 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West race late Thursday night by suffering a 13-inning, walk-off loss to the Padres at Petco Park.Not only did the Rockies lose while the Diamondbacks were beating the Dodgers, Colorado used five of its eight relievers.Yes, help is on the way. The rosters can be expanded Saturday. But there is still Friday’s game to play and the Rockies can’t afford to lose again to the division’s last-place Padres.Article continues below ...So the pressure will be on right-hander Antonio Senzatela Friday night to not only defeat the Padres — who have won three straight games — but to go deep into the game to prevent more damage to the bullpen. The effects of a 13-inning loss can linger.Senzatela (4-4, 5.24 ERA) will face Padres right-handed rookie Brett Kennedy (0-2, 7.58 ERA) Friday night in the second game of a four-game series. The Rockies came to San Diego looking for a sweep or three wins to gain a little ground in the National League West as their playoff rivals dueled in Los Angeles.Senzatela was originally scheduled to start Thursday but was given an extra day off before his 18th appearance of the season for the Rockies and his eighth start. He has worked a total of 56 2/3 innings, giving up 34 runs (33 earned) on 61 hits and 20 walks with 42 strikeouts for a 1.43 WHIP and a .272 opponents’ batting average.Senzatela struggled in his last outing and has had problems on the road this season.Against St. Louis on Aug. 24 , Senzatela allowed seven runs on 10 hits (two home runs) and a walk over 4 1/3 innings to take the loss against the Cardinals.Senzatela is 1-3 on the road this season with a 5.46 ERA in 10 appearances (four starts). In the four starts, he is 0-2 with a 5.24 ERA.Senzatela has had a degree of success against the Padres. He is 4-0 with a 4.00 ERA in nine career appearances (three starts). But in four relief appearances against the Padres this season, Senzatela has allowed five runs in 7 1/3 innings for a 6.14 ERA. However, he won his lone decision against San Diego this year. He is 1-0 with a 5.19 ERA in four appearances (one start) at Petco Park.Meanwhile, the Padres’ auditions for starting spots continue with Kennedy’s fifth start Friday night. The 23-year-old is one of four rookies currently in the Padres’ rotation.With more future rotation candidates expected to arrive Saturday, Kennedy might need a strong outing Friday night to keep his spot in the rotation. Thus far he has given up 16 runs on 31 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts in 19 innings. In addition to the inflated ERA, he has a 1.95 WHIP and a .373 opponents’ batting average. CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox lost 100 games Domingo Santana Jersey , struck out more times than any other team in major league history and had several key prospects suffer serious injuries.They missed the playoffs for the 10th straight year, too.Still, the White Sox hope the worst of the rebuild is behind them and general manager Rick Hahn expects to see more signs of a turnaround next season with the young players on the roster continuing to mature and promising prospects in the pipeline.“I don’t think it’s too early to say we expect to be certainly more competitive,” Hahn said.After dropping 95 games last year, the White Sox came within six losses of the franchise record at 62-100. Only the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals had worse marks. They also set the major league record by striking out 1,594 times.“A lot of ups and a lot of downs,” manager Rick Renteria said. “Probably more downs than ups but some moments of clarity that we see for some of the guys that we have that we believe will be impactful for us going forward.”STAY OR GOThe White Sox hung onto Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia last winter. The question is whether they will this time. Both players could be attractive to contenders with prospects to spare Eric Sogard Jersey , though they had their seasons cut short by injuries. Abreu made his second All-Star team, but missed most of the final six weeks because of surgery to repair a testicular torsion and then an infection in his right thigh shortly after returning. Garcia went from hitting .330 in a breakout All-Star season in 2017 to .236 while being limited to 93 games because of discomfort in his right knee. He will have surgery.PITCHING INThe White Sox appear to have three solid rotation pitchers for the future in Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Dylan Cease could join them at some point next season. The right-hander dominated at Class A and Double-A this year. Hahn might also look for outside help to boost the rotation and bullpen in the short term.“Just because we foresee a guy like Dylan Cease, let’s say, being a stalwart in a championship rotation in the future, we are going to wait until he’s fully ready to start that process,” Hahn said. “In the interim Keon Broxton Jersey , we need to come up with alternatives.”ON THE MARKETManny Machado and Bryce Harper are due to hit the free agent market. That raises a question: Would the White Sox make a move for a big star now?“If we see long term pieces that make sense, in addition to augmenting the pitching or filling certain needs for 2019, I think we have the flexibility to pursue them and we are going to be opportunistic and respond to the market accordingly,” said Hahn, who did not mention any players by name.IN THE PIPELINEPrized outfielder Eloy Jimenez looks like he’s ready to make his major league debut. Jimenez — who along with Cease came to Chicago in the deal that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs last season — hit a combined 337 with 22 homers and 75 RBIs for Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte this year. Despite those numbers, the White Sox did not call him up. If they wait until mid-April, they will have him under contract control until 2025 rather than 2024. A similar scenario unfolded in 2015 between Kris Bryant and the Cubs.“At some point over the course of next year , either at the start or for the majority of the season, we’ll have Eloy Jimenez we project joining us and certainly by the middle or end of next year I suspect there will be some other young potential core pieces forcing their way to Chicago and allowing us to further solidify what this is going to look like going forward,” Hahn said.ON THE MENDWhite Sox fans might be as interested in the medical reports as the box scores. Pitcher Michael Kopech had Tommy John surgery in September after making four starts for the White Sox and will miss next season. Minor league third baseman Jake Burger — the No. 11 overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft — tore his left Achilles tendon in spring training and did it again walking in his backyard in May. Potential closer-of-the-future Zack Burdi is working his way back from Tommy John surgery in 2017.
  8. TAMPA , Fla. (AP) — Aaron Boone kept tuning into postseason games, even after his New York Yankees were eliminated by Boston, and he watched the Red Sox win the World Series.“I don’t know if it was to torture myself or what,” the New York manager said Wednesday as pitchers and catchers reported for spring training. “You put this hat on and this uniform on, to get to wear a big league uniform, you shouldn’t need much motivation, but to watch a team that you know so well that’s certainly one of your rivals celebrate where you want to be, I think that adds a little fuel to the fire, certainly.”The Yankees went 100-62 in Boone’s first season as manager, their best record since winning the 2009 World Series Tony Perez Jersey , and Boone thinks this team could be better following the additions of left-hander James Paxton, reliever Adam Ottavino, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and infielder DJ LeMahieu.“I feel like as we sit in here in early February on paper we probably look a little bit strong,” he said. “Hopefully this year get to the top of the mountain.”Expectations are always high with the Yankees.There’s no question, we’ll embrace those,” Boone said. “I think everyone that’s been here a while and certainly the new guys coming in I think understand what goes along with having the kind of club we potentially have and being within this organization that the expectations are great. We welcome that.”In other news from Boone’s 30-minute media session:— He went to the Dominican Republic during the offseason visit catcher Gary Sanchez, who hit .186 and struggled with passed balls last year. Sanchez also had left shoulder surgery on Nov. 8. “I’m really excited about his frame of mind,” Boone said. “A guy that’s frankly very hungry to go and show the world how good a player he is.”__ Boone thinks CC Sabathia could be ready for the start of the regular season after having a stent inserted on Dec. 11 after a blockage was found in an artery from his heart. The left-hander, who says he plans to retire after this season, probably won’t throw his first bullpen for a couple more weeks.— Boone expects Luis Severino will be the opening day starter March 28 against Baltimore.FARQUHAR MOVING FORWARDReliever Danny Farquhar’s comeback from a brain hemorrhage stemming from a ruptured aneurysm last April 20 is progressing well.In camp with a minor league contract , the right-hander says he is feeling great and will be getting his customized pitching helmet Thursday — three days before his 32nd birthday. He had a bullpen session Tuesday and plans another for Friday.ELLSBURY EXCUSEDOutfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who didn’t play last season due to a number of injuries, will not report for at least the next couple weeks after experiencing plantar fasciitis during his rehab program following hip surgery.“It’s really slowed him in his ability to really break through and get to where he needs to be,” Boone said. So, he hasn’t been able to start the baseball activity stuff.”STAR POWERSpring training instructors include new Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, Reggie Jackson, Ron Guidry, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Hideki Matsui Barry Larkin Jersey , Tino Martinez, Willie Randolph, Carlos Beltran, Nick Swisher, Lee Mazzilli, Alfonso Soriano and Stump Merrill.TRAINER’S ROOMSS Didi Gregorius (Tommy John surgery Oct. 17) will start hitting with both hands in three to four weeks. … LHP Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery last June 7) is making 50 throws at 90 feet on level ground. He hopes to pitch in a game after the All-Star break break. Michael Hickey/Getty ImagesThe Atlanta Braves added some power to their lineup Monday one day before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline.The Braves announced they acquired outfielder Adam Duvall in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitchers Lucas Sims and Matt Wisler and outfielder Preston Tucker.Atlanta is just one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East, and making an addition like this in exchange for three players suggests it is all-in on a playoff run in a year the Washington Nationals have struggled to keep pace.The Braves are a mere 22nd in the league in home runs despite their place in the standings and could use a power boost heading into the stretch run. Duvall had 33 home runs for the Reds in 2016 and 31 long balls in 2017 and is playing on a team-friendly deal, earning $645,000 this season.His numbers over the last three years put him in impressive company:Joel Luckhaupt jluckhauptMost extra-base hits in NL since 2016Nolan Arenado 220Charlie Blackmon 196Freddie Freeman 195Kris Bryant 183Paul Goldschmidt 180Anthony Rizzo 179Adam Duvall 175Matt Carpenter 175While Duvall has seen his slash numbers drop to .205/.286/.399 this season, he still has 15 homers , which is more than any Braves outfielder.As for Cincinnati, it moved a 29-year-old veteran who has experienced a drop-off in performance during a noncompetitive season for three pieces that could accelerate the rebuilding process.Tucker has played just 208 games at the professional level but is hitting a career-best .256 in 62 appearances this season. He was also the Houston Astros' No. 17 prospect in 2014, per, and could unleash some of his upside in a new location.Elsewhere, Sims is 24 years old and Wisler is 25, which give Cincinnati two potential difference-making arms.The Reds have their eye on the future, whereas the Braves made a splash with a power hitter prior to the deadline. Now they will look to reach the postseason for the first time since the 2013 campaign.
  9. NEW YORK (AP) — Right-hander David Phelps and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a $2.5 million Danny Santana Jersey , one-year contract, a deal that could be worth $13.75 million over two seasons, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday night because the deal had not yet been announced. The contractPhelps, a 32-year-old free agent who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, can earn an additional $3.25 million in performance bonuses this year as part of the agreement, and the Blue Jays have a $1 million team option for 2020 that could escalate to $8 million depending on appearances and games finished this year.He tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm on March 17 during his final pitch in a spring training outing against the Los Angeles Angels, and he had surgery March 26.Phelps was 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 relief appearances in 2017 for Seattle, which acquired him from Miami that July 20. He had a $5.55 million salary last season.During six major league seasons with the New York Yankees (2012-14), Miami (2015-17) and the Mariners, Phelps is 30-33 with a 3.89 ERA and five saves in 64 starts and 164 relief appearances.His agreement was first reported by ESPN.Phelps could earn $2.5 million in bonuses this year based on games: $250,000 each for 25, 30 and 35, and $350,000 apiece for 40, 45, 50 , 55 and 70. He also could earn $750,000 this year based on games finished: $125,000 each for 25 and 30, and $250,000 apiece for 35 and 40.His option escalates to $3 million if he pitches in 30-39 games this year, $5 million if 30-49, $7 million if 50 or more, and $8 million if 50 or more and 40 or more games finished. BALTIMORE (AP) — Down five runs in the third inning? Hardly a challenge for the Boston Red Sox, who quickly wiped out the deficit with a display of patience and power.Xander Bogaerts and Andrew Benintendi each hit three-run homers, Brock Holt connected in a six-run sixth inning and the Red Sox overwhelmed the Baltimore Orioles 19-12 on Friday night.In addition to getting nine extra-base hits, Boston drew 10 walks — two with the bases loaded — in its most prolific offensive performance since a 22-run outburst against Seattle in August 2015. J.D. Martinez drove in two runs and tops the majors with 101 RBIs.“You keep the line moving, and the big dogs are going to be at the plate,” manager Alex Cora said. “They’ve been doing an outstanding job throughout the season driving in runs and putting together good at-bats. From the offensive side, it was fun to watch.”After hitting for the cycle one night earlier, Mookie Betts went 3 for 4 with two walks and three RBIs. The last time Boston scored at least 19 runs on the road was in 1994 at Kansas City.“This is a good place to hit,” Holt said of cozy Camden Yards.The Red Sox have won 11 of 13 to open a nine-game lead over the second-place Yankees in the AL East.Boston starter Nathan Eovaldi gave up eight runs Ender Inciarte Jersey , four earned, and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. Obtained on July 25 in a trade with Tampa Bay, the right-hander threw 15 scoreless innings over two starts for the Red Sox, but in this one he put Boston in an 8-3 hole against the team with the worst record in the majors.“Obviously, you get down like that, with the lineup we have we don’t ever feel like we’re out of it,” Holt said. “We get some guys on and we’ve got guys who can do some damage.”By the sixth inning, the Red Sox had an 11-8 lead.Holt started the sixth with a home run to make it 8-6. A sacrifice fly by Mitch Moreland was followed by three straight walks — the last two with the bases loaded — before Holt smacked a two-run single to center.Orioles reliever Miguel Castro (2-7) walked three of the five batters he faced.After the Orioles closed to 11-10 in the bottom half, Benintendi homered in the seventh.Drew Pomeranz (2-5) got the win in his first relief appearance since 2016.Chris Davis, Tim Beckham and Mark Trumbo homered for the Orioles, who are 2-11 against Boston this seasonBoston’s comeback overshadowed the big league debut of Baltimore center fielder Cedric Mullins , who doubled twice, singled, scored three runs and drove in two. He is the first player in the 65-year history of the Orioles to have three hits in his first major league game.“That’s a long time for a team to be around, and for me to be the first one, it’s just a privilege ,” Mullins said.Manager Buck Showalter was asked if Mullins’ enthusiasm could make a difference in the revamped clubhouse of a rebuilding team.“Yeah, that’s possible but it doesn’t matter if you don’t pitch well,” Showalter said.The addition of Mullins pushed longtime Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones to right field. Undaunted by the switch, Jones had three hits and two RBIs.AUGUST HEATThe Red Sox are smoking at the plate in August, averaging 9 runs per game and reaching double figures in half their eight games.TRAINER’S ROOMRed Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (right ankle sprain) threw effectively in a simulated game, with positive results. “Good movement, good location. His stuff was electric,” Cora said. … Utility man Blake Swihart right hamstring) ran the bases and is close to coming off the DL. … 2B Ian Kinsler (left hamstring) won’t be ready to return until the end of next week at the earliest, Cora said.Orioles: OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) is “not too far away” from returning to the club, Showalter said. He’s been on the DL since late June.UP NEXTRed Sox: David Price (11-6, 3.93 ERA) will work the first game of a split doubleheader on Saturday. Cora did not name his starter for Game 2, saying it depended on how Game 1 went.Orioles: Jimmy Yacabonis (0-0, 7.15 ERA) starts the opener, followed by Yefry Ramirez (1-4, 5.66 ERA).
  10. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Major League Baseball’s largest developmental effort for minority players is being renamed after one of the sport’s greatest players.The Elite Development Invitational has been renamed the Hank Aaron Invitational and will include a showcase game beginning next season. The event has been held since 2015 for high-school age players to get them to the next levels of the game either on or off the field. The program has been run by Major League Baseball , the Major League Baseball Players Association and USA Baseball.The announcement was made at Dodger Stadium on Friday before Game 3 of the World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers.“It means an awful lot to me. We need someone to help shape this game into what the game is all about. And the game is about all of us, not just a few of us, but all of us who have an opportunity and a chance to play this game,” Aaron said.The Hank Aaron Invitational will be held in July and August at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida. Approximately 250 players ages 13 to 18 will receive training from former big league players and coaches. Recent instructors in the program have included Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. and Dave Winfield along with former manager Jerry Manuel.The top 44 players will then be invited to Atlanta to play in a special showcase game at SunTrust Park as part of the “Hank Aaron Week” festivities put on each year by the Braves. The program will also include presentations on college availability, potential job opportunities within the sport and visits to cultural sites around the city.“It’s been a great success for us. Being able to add Hank and his legacy is going to enhance it and bring more opportunities,” said Tony Reagins, who oversees MLB’s youth programs.Over the past four years, the Elite Development Invitational has seen more than 100 alumni playing in the minors or in college. Five players have been drafted in the first seven rounds the past two years including Hunter Greene, who was a first-round selection by the Reds in 2017.“This has been a joint program that has truly made a difference, we believe, in not just the development of a number of young people that have come through the program on the field, but also off the field , as well,” MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said.According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association Participation Report from 2016, baseball participation among African-American youth was higher than football (3.8 percent to. 3.4 percent). Overall, baseball has seen a 49.1 percent increase in casual participation. LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers are poised Sunday to grab the series victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but not even they could have imagined things were going to be this dramatic against their division rivals.After two late-inning home runs rallied the Dodgers past the Diamondbacks on Friday, Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday to give the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.The latest victory moved the Dodgers into a tie for first place with Arizona, the first time Los Angeles has held at least a share of the National League West lead since Aug. 11.Article continues below ...The last time the Dodgers held sole possession of first place in the division was Aug. 7, but that could change with a victory Sunday.The Dodgers will send rookie Walker Buehler (6-4, 3.02 ERA) to the mound Sunday afternoon as they try to win three consecutive games in the showdown series. Buehler has given up two earned runs or fewer in six consecutive starts, going 2-0 in five August turns with a 1.53 ERA.Buehler, who has yet to face the Diamondbacks in his young career, might be the Dodgers’ least experienced starter, but the club is feeling completely confident about things after the last two games.The Dodgers were 4 1/2 games out of first place after a loss Aug. 22 Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , but have gone 7-1 in their last eight games to make up the ground.“Not surprised, very impressed, and I think the noise outside, and the things that were being said, our guys didn’t waver,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Each day, to their credit, they focus on each game and aren’t worried about the other clubs and how they played.”The Diamondbacks had owned the Dodgers going back to late August 2017. They finished the 2017 regular season with six consecutive victories over the Dodgers, and although Los Angeles won a postseason series, Arizona opened 2018 by going 7-1 in the first eight games of the matchup.Even in the last two games, the Diamondbacks were in control until some late-inning Dodgers heroics. Before Kemp’s home run Saturday, Enrique Hernandez and Justin Turner hit home runs to win Friday’s game.On Friday, Diamondbacks manager Torry Lovullo appeared to leave starter Zack Greinke in the game too long. On Saturday Greg Joseph Jersey Elite , starter Patrick Corbin went only five innings, even though he had not allowed a run to score.“It’s easy to sit right now and say, knowing what the results are, that we would do it differently,” Lovullo said after Friday’s game, according to the Arizona Republic. “Of course, I would have done it differently had I known what the outcome was.”He did do things differently Saturday, only he got the same results.Up next for the Diamondbacks is right-hander Clay Buchholz (7-2, 2.07), who hasn’t allowed a run in his last 15 innings. He has a 0.39 ERA in his last three starts and a 1.53 ERA in his last nine outings.Buchholz’s only start against the Dodgers came in 2010, and he went 6 2/3 scoreless innings as a member of the Boston Red Sox.
  11. Cowboys mum on roles for assistant coaches Womens Terrance Williams Jersey , Kellen Moore letting it play out - Nick Eatman, Dallas CowboysMoore isn’t worried about what role he’s going to have on the coaching staff, he’s just letting everything play out.Kellen Moore is running offense at Pro Bowl - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-TelegramMoore is installing the offense for the NFC at the Pro Bowl, it's a pretty good indicator that he'll be taking a bigger role in 2019 with the Cowboys.There's nothing that says Cowboys' Kellen Moore is too young to be a valuable coordinator - Tim Cowlishaw, SportsDayMoore's NFL career may have never blossomed but that doesn't mean he's a bad candidate to be the Cowboys offensive coordinator.QB Dak Prescott backs Kellen Moore as OC - Clarence Hill, Fort Worth Star-TelegramPrescott didn't divulge any confirmations but he did tell the media that he believes Moore can be a great offensive coordinator.Report: Dak Prescott has not been asked for his opinion on potential offensive coordinator by Cowboys - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The BoysThe Cowboys reportedly have not consulted with the quarterback on the big coaching question remaining.What Does Jon Kitna Bring To This Staff?- David Helman, Dallas CowboysKitna used to back up Tony Romo but now he’ll be brought in to coach Dak Prescott.Cowboys offense can evolve without total overhaul of schematic philosophy - Michael Sisemore, Blogging The BoysDon’t expect a brand new offense Womens Dak Prescott Jersey , but you can expect a little evolution within the same philosophy.Kris Richard to remain on Cowboys’ coaching staff; If offered a head coaching job, ‘there’s no guarantee I would’ve left’ - Jon Machota, SportsDayThe Cowboys defensive backs coach Kris Richard says that Dallas is where he wants to be despite interviews for vacant head coaching positions.Kris Richard staying in Dallas, gracious for Rod Marinelli, “one of the top three men in the world” – Charean Williams, ProFootballTalkKris Richard is staying in Dallas and he is thankful to coach with Cowboys DC Rod Marinelli.Leighton Vander Esch’s ‘crazy’ rookie season finishes with Pro Bowl - Todd Archer, ESPNLeighton Vander Esch’s rookie season was phenomenal, he became an All-Pro and is the first Cowboys rookie defender since Everson Walls to make the Pro Bowl. Through every interception, fumble and loss, Dak Prescott's mind is on the next throw Youth Brett Maher Jersey , the next scramble, the next game for the Dallas Cowboys.The quarterback of America's Team thinks of where he's been: almost exactly five years removed from his mom, Peggy Prescott, dying of colon cancer when her son was a 20-year-old sophomore at Mississippi State. That makes it easier for him to move on in his football world."When you lose your mom, it's not that easy," Prescott said. "That's something you've got to wake up every day, looking yourself in the face and knowing that you've got an angel. You've got an angel that has expectations for you to do and you've got to go out there and do them each and every day."And that's why the expectations of others won't faze Prescott with the losses almost as frequent as the victories since he led a franchise-record 11-game winning streak that helped him earn NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2016.The struggling Dallas offense, more specifically the passing game , appears to be the biggest obstacle for the Cowboys as they try to return to the playoffs after falling short during Prescott's less-than-stellar encore last year. He figures his football-loving mom would be right there with the rest of the critics, with a caveat."She'd let me know how she felt about our struggles and about the mistakes and those type of things Youth Maliek Collins Jersey ," Prescott said. "Simply on the other hand of having the confidence in me of fixing them and in our team of fixing them and getting back to playing the type of ball we want to play as a team."Prescott paused in the middle of the season during the Cowboys' open week for a cause that will endure for him regardless of which direction his career goes.His role in Bristol-Myers Squibb's "Ready. Raise. Rise." campaign is one of his cancer awareness initiatives from a platform Prescott's mom envisioned after she was diagnosed.Whether she could have seen it coming through her son's sudden stardom as quarterback of one of the world's most visible pro sports franchises is another question."I think she definitely did," said Prescott, who has been part of a campaign that led to a $250,000 donation to cancer advocacy groups. "And she had plans and she had dreams for me."Prescott remembers watching with his mom when Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre played a night after his father died and threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in Green Bay's 41-7 win over Oakland in 2003."She said, 'I want you to play if that ever happens,'" Prescott said.His mom died on a Sunday — the day after he threw three interceptions in a loss to South Carolina when he knew something was wrong because his mom hadn't texted or called him back before the game. The funeral was on a Wednesday — three days before a loss to Texas A&M."And I said, 'I've got to get back. My mom would be mad that I even missed that practice that I missed yesterday,'" Prescott recalled. "I could say that's the moment that I started allowing my mom to be my story, doing the things that she told me and she taught me."His Mississippi State teammates saw it when Prescott led the Bulldogs to the first No. 1 ranking in school history a year later, before a loss to Nick Saban and Alabama.His Dallas teammates saw it when he showed up as the forgotten fourth-round pick and third-stringer behind franchise passing leader Tony Romo. After backup Kellen Moore broke an ankle in training camp and Romo injured his back in a preseason game Youth La'el Collins Jersey , Prescott got his chance. Romo never got his job back."He's had the same qualities from Day One, as a rookie to now," receiver Cole Beasley said. "Hasn't changed at all. I don't know if he had many bad games in 2016. But I know he has always been the same guy whether good or bad since I've known him."Those qualities have been tested, with a 14-13 record since his remarkable 11-1 start and more interceptions, fumbles and sacks. While owner and general manager Jerry Jones keeps using stronger language to suggest he's settled on his quarterback of the future, doubters are numerous outside Cowboys headquarters."When you have a guy that's a winner, boy, hard to pass up on guys that are winners," said Florida coach Dan Mullen, who was Prescott's coach at Mississippi State. "There's all kinds of different quarterbacks. A winner's a winner. That's the first thing I look for in quarterbacks."Ask Prescott how he thinks he needs to improve Youth Antwaun Woods Jersey , and he'll say in everything. A Cowboys fan as a kid growing up near the Texas state line in Louisiana, Prescott longs to end a Super Bowl drought that's approaching 25 years.But there's a small part of Prescott that would concede he's already a winner, looking back over five years since his mom died, and 25 months since he was the opening day quarterback with Dallas fans wondering if another season was lost because of another Romo injury."My mom's definitely an emotional woman," Prescott said, slipping into the present tense."So it'd be tears, it'd be a lot of tears in the last 25 months. She asked me when she initially got sick to allow her to be my story. She said all greats have a story. So for my mom to say that back in 2013 to where we are now, I think she'd be proud." Custom Atlanta Falcons Jerseys
  12. Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Maliek Collins has been ruled out of Sunday's game at Seattle with a knee injury and pass rusher Randy Gregory is set to return after missing a week with a concussion.Collins missed the preseason recovering from surgery for a broken foot sustained during offseason workouts. He injured the knee in last week's win over the New York Giants.Gregory had missed 30 of the previous 32 games because of substance-abuse suspensions before sustaining a concussion in the season-opening loss at Carolina. He was a full participant in practice all week.Safety Xavier Woods could make his season debut against the Seahawks after sitting the first two games with a hamstring injury. Woods is listed as questionable along with linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring) and receiver Cole Beasley Youth Chidobe Awuzie Jersey , who injured an ankle in practice Thursday. Lee was limited in practice this week but said he expected to play.Four-time Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick will miss his third straight game with a nerve disorder that has sidelined him indefinitely. With Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne anchoring the defensive line, and Adrian Peterson hardly looking like a 33-year-old, the Washington Redskins have established what sort of team they are. It's quite a drastic shift from who they've been under coach Jay Gruden until now.Their defense stops the run ?gasp! ?and their offense ?get this! ?moves the ball on the ground."It starts up front, in the trenches," Gruden said Monday. "Those big guys are doing a great job."He was talking about Washington's defensive front, but he also might as well have been referring to the offensive line, which is led by left tackle Trent Williams and right guard Brandon Scherff and has been leading the way for Peterson.So bad against the run for so long, the defense is suddenly stout as can be. It limited the NFL's No. 2 rusher , Ezekiel Elliott, to 34 yards ?his second-lowest output in the league 鈥?in the Redskins' 20-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday. Elliott's longest gain was 6 yards.That came a week after the Redskins limited Christian McCaffrey to 20 yards rushing and the entire Carolina team to 81 during a 23-17 win against the Panthers."We're making teams earn every blade of grass they get," Gruden said.Now comes another test for Washington, which leads the NFC East: rookie sensation Saquon Barkley and the last-place New York Giants next Sunday.The Redskins are giving up only 87.3 yards on the ground each game, third in the NFL. One key: Washington is one of two clubs to not have allowed a 20-yard run this season. Minnesota is the other."It's as much of a mindset as anything," linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said about stopping Elliott and the Cowboys, who had won four games in a row against the Redskins. "We definitely have taken it personally that they've had so much success running the ball against us the past couple of years."Truly, everyone has.Last season Zack Martin Jersey , Washington owned the worst run defense in the NFL, with opponents rushing for 134.1 yards per game. In 2016, it was 24th of 32 clubs at 119.8 per game allowed. And in 2015, 26th at 122.6 per game allowed.So this season has seen what Gruden called "a major improvement," one he attributed in part to the pair of first-round draft picks out of Alabama, Allen (who missed 11 games as a rookie in 2017 because of an injury) and rookie Payne.Safety D.J. Swearinger nicknamed that duo the Alabama Wall.On the other side of the ball, Gruden has embraced the running game much more than in his previous four seasons as a head coach in Washington.After Peterson's 99 yards on 24 carries against the Cowboys 鈥?the fourth time in six games this season he's topped 95 鈥?the Redskins are third in the league at 29.5 runs per game and 14th at 119 yards per game.Those numbers are way up from the full 2017 season, when the team ended up ranked 24th with 25.1 runs per game and 28th with 90.5 yards per game.Under Gruden Authentic Sean Lee Jersey , the Redskins have never finished a season averaging more than 26.8 carries or 106 yards per game.They've also never had Peterson, who was available to any team when the Redskins signed him in the preseason."Adrian has been a big lift for us, without a doubt. We are 4-2, and he is big a part of it," Gruden said. "So we just have to keep feeding him."Notes: Gruden said that CB Fabian Moreau sprained his ankle and RT Morgan Moses injured his elbow against Dallas. CB Quinton Dunbar, who missed Sunday's game with what the team said was a bruised shin, was going to get checked out to see whether he had a nerve problem. Clearance NFL Jerseys
  13. The ACC witnessed an explosion of offense this week in college football Womens Shaq Lawson Jersey , so it seemed only fitting that any recap should feature players involved in those inter-conference games, but the real offensive MVP, who rushed for over 200 yards, hails from the PAC-12. Not to be forgotten, the defenders this week are all middle-round prospects looking to make a rise up the board this season. More about each 2019 draft prospect below. RB Zack Moss (Utah)The Utes were determined to pound the rock against UCLA and Moss was their battering ram, so much so that he ended the day with 211 yards on 26 runs. As always, the 215-pound junior proved difficult to bring down, but he also managed to show off some long speed on one particular 60-yard scamper which is important for his evaluation. Also important was the fact that he caught two passes for 14 yards and held up in pass protection.C Garrett Bradbury (NC State)Syracuse and NC State had an old-fashioned shootout, thanks to some great protection provided by the offensive line for both teams. For the Wolfpack, that protection was provided by Bradbury. The center was extremely light on his feet, which led to a couple nice runs, but allowed him to shine in his pass sets. His movement skills helped on run fakes, allowing him to pretend like he was run blocking, and then immediately shifting to a pass protection set.WR Sean Riley (Syracuse)The diminutive slot receiver for the Orange didn’t just go toe-to-toe with the NC State defensive backs, with his 164 yards he also managed to keep up with the Wolfpack’s Kelvin Harmon who had a monster day on the other side of the field. Defensively Womens Corey Bojorquez Jersey , NC State had no answer for Riley as he was too quick for linebackers and safeties and too polished a route-runner for slot corners. Several of his catches came on third downs, keeping drives alive and eventually leading to an upset. ER Ben Banogu (TCU)TCU usually chose to only rush three players on third downs against Kansas, but the senior still managed to get to the quarterback twice for sacks. Where Banogu really stood out though was in holding the edge in run defense, finishing the day with 4.5 tackles for loss. If Banogu can continue to stack productive weeks like this, he could go from being considered late rounder to more of a mid-round consideration.LB Ryan Connelly (Wisconsin)The day began well for Connelly and the Wisconsin defense as a whole against Northwestern. Connelly made an very athletic play to tip a pass which ended up as an interception for the Badgers. Unfortunately, Wisconsin’s offense was no help and the defense eventually collapsed as well. No one should blame Connelly though, who found himself chasing running backs all day while leading his team in tackles with fourteen.Your browser does not support HTML5 video.CB Bryce Hall (Virginia)Hall can be labeled as a “draft riser” this year and that rise continued against UNC. The junior leads the nation in pass break ups, and had two against UNC, because he know how to position get his hands into the chest of the receiver and force an incompletion at the very last minute. The few times he does allow a catch, Hall uses his long arms to quickly wrap up and limit any yards after the catch. He also threw in a johnny-on-the-spot fumble recovery against the Tarheels. Your browser does not support HTML5 video. When an organization falls short of their stated goals, it’s only natural that they seek to identify what went wrong and look to make changes. As fans of the Buffalo Bills we get to do the first part. Affectionately known as “finger-pointing,” the offensive line for the Bills is perhaps the most commonly cited part of the team that went wrong. Russell Bodine was picked up during the off-season in an attempt to help fill the gap left by an unexpectedly retiring Eric Wood, the beloved long time Buffalo Bill. Bodine began the season in the backup spot behind Ryan Groy, but replaced Groy in Week 3. A December injury to Bodine pushed Groy back into the starting role. If you put all this together, it would be no surprise for the Bills to look for an upgrade. Let’s turn to the tape and see if it agrees. Play 1NOTE: Bodine isn’t circled at the beginning of each play as his spot never changes and he’s frequently obstructed by the quarterback. When the Buffalo Bills picked up Russell Bodine it was accompanied by much rejoicing from fans of the Cincinnati Bengals Authentic Josh Allen Jersey , his former team. Upon review, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Bodine was not the dumpster fire that was commonly portrayed. One facet of his game that seemed like a strength was move blocking. Bodine helps out Wyatt Teller and gets Malik Jackson off his spot. LeSean McCoy chooses a different lane, but arguably could have followed Bodine for a few more yards. Play 2In a game of inches and split-second decisions, it’s hard to fault McCoy for not latching on to Russell Bodine’s hip. However, if he had, this run turns into a huge gain. Malik Jackson disengages from Wyatt Teller handily, but is swatted down by Bodine. Another solid block on the move is another lost opportunity. That tiny drift to the right from McCoy allows Jackson to get a hand on him after recovering from the earlier swat. Play 3There’s some good and some less good on this play. Right away Bodine jams his right arm out, helping John Miller get on his block. Bodine looks to work on two defenders with Teller. It’s impossible to know for sure without assignments, but Teller seem delayed in finding someone to hit. Bodine meanwhile has to decide which of two players to attack and doesn’t get a good piece of either. The end result is a pretty heavy hit on Josh Allen. Play 4Russell Bodine and John Miller are just fine two-on-one. When Miller disengages, the lane disappears quickly. Bodine isn’t in great position to prevent Malik Jackson from kicking sideways and blowing up the run. If there’s a consistent flaw in Bodine’s game, it’s the ability to match lateral movement and stop plays like this one. Play 5Here’s one to just enjoy. Bodine helps Vlad Ducasse out with the first defender and moves on to the next man. Bodine does a good job with both blocks. Unfortunately, other blocks don’t go so well, including the one from Ducasse once he’s solo. Play 6It’s possible Russell Bodine isn’t sure which direction the rushing attempt is going, especially with a back as shifty as LeSean McCoy. Even with that benefit of the doubt given, the indecision on which player to attack leads to Bodine missing both. Based on available evidence Womens Jason Croom Jersey , it’s a decent bet the play was designed to flow to the right (our left). Had Bodine attacked Roquan Smith, there’s a good deal more room for Shady. Play 7Bodine is a player who will always be described in context of his surrounding talent. As the Cincinnati weak link there seemed to be some unease in allowing Bodine to take on defenders by himself, with schemes seeming to limit his exposure. In Buffalo he is most assuredly not the weak link and often took on defenders by his lonesome. While technically he’s being helped by Wyatt Teller on this play, there doesn’t seem to be much benefit from the rookie’s presence. Bodine isn’t manhandled but he’s not winning either. As a power lineman, there’s much to be desired. On the other hand, it could be quite a bit worse and as they say “practice makes better.” With more exposure to one-on-ones in Buffalo, Bodine seems to have improved from his Bengals days that gave me the impression he was a consistent liability. Play 8It’s Roquan Smith again, but this time there’s no decision. With Bodine committing to his man he makes Smith hesitate and gets just enough to let Ivory slip through. This would have been one of Ivory’s better runs this year if John MillerJordan Mills* didn’t negate it with a holding penalty. *credit to JonR67 for the catch. Play 9Bodine played and started in every game in his four years with the Bengals. You don’t go 66 games (two playoff games) without gaining some experience and here Bodine shows that value. Bodine doesn’t flinch when Whitney Mercilus is bearing down on him. Letting the block come to him pays off as Mercilus bails before making contact while Duke Ejiofor tries to slip by. Bodine is ready for it and Josh Allen has plenty of room. Play 10Bodine ends up hitting three different Indianapolis Colts on this play and helps Vlad Ducasse and John Miller. Allen has another nice pocket, primarily thanks to Bodine. SummaryRussell Bodine played a pretty competent brand of football in his first year with the Buffalo Bills. Never dominating in the trenches, Bodine was rarely a liability either. It was common to see Bodine helping out his guards with blocks and at times looked like the best protector for Buffalo. With Bodine at center, Buffalo is unlikely to establish a power running game without some true maulers to flank him. A more finesse- and speed-based game should be an easier style to get going with Bodine and require less overhaul around him (though it would still need some). It’s widely expected that the Buffalo Bills will seek to improve the offensive line this off-season and Russell Bodine shouldn’t be considered safe. Time and energy are finite resources. There are several positions I’d allocate more into fixing than center and if using a strictly triage-based strategy there’s at least three spots on the offensive line I look at before hitting Bodine’s name. That’s not how the NFL tends to work though. With general manager Brandon Beane likely scouring all available players at all positions there’s no compelling reason not to sign an upgrade if one falls into their lap.
  14. The three biggest questions facing the Buffalo Bills defense heading into 2018 We are now less than a week away from the Buffalo Bills’ 2018 Week 1 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The roster is settled White Phillip Gaines Jersey , official game preparation has begun, and all of the questions that have been asked for months on end this offseason will start to be answered on Sunday in Maryland.These are, in my opinion, the three biggest questions facing the Bills’ defense heading into the 2018 regular season.Can the secondary keep producing?The Bills were able to produce enough defensively, in their first year playing under Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier, based largely on the contributions of three of their starting defensive backs: cornerback Tre’Davious White, and safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Those three players combined for 14 of the Bills’ 18 interceptions last season, as well as an additional three fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.They did this despite the fact that the team was unable to produce a consistent pass rush on a weekly basis, which we’ll talk a little bit more about below. Now, these three players form the strong point in a defense that has otherwise seen a pretty significant amount of personnel turnover in its front seven. While other pieces fall into place, the Bills will need White, Hyde Youth Kelvin Benjamin Jersey , and Poyer to continue their play-making ways.How quickly can the new Mike assimilate?Nathan Peterman has afforded the Bills the luxury of (some) time in assimilating Josh Allen to the NFL, but the team has no such luxury when it comes to their other 2018 first-round draft pick, middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The 20-year-old has been tasked with helming the Bills’ defense as its primary signal-caller right away, and he’ll likely be an every-down player in his rookie season.Edmunds’ preseason was marked with ups and downs, which is about all that can be expected from a young player in such a giant role. The pressure is only going to ramp up from here. No one doubts Edmunds’ immense physical talents. When he “gets it,” which the Bills will hope happens sooner rather than later, he has an opportunity to be a star in the McDermott/Frazier defense.Will a consistent pass rush develop?Sacks are not the true measure of a consistent pass rush, but the Bills’ 2017 season total of 27 sacks was lacking. No individual player had more than 4.0 sacks a year ago, and the Bills haven’t had a defensive lineman record more than 6.0 sacks in a season since 2014, when the trio of Mario Williams, Marcell Dareus, and Jerry Hughes were in their heyday.It’s no wonder Youth Tremaine Edmunds Jersey , then, that the Bills spent significant free agency dollars trying to improve their defensive line, adding end Trent Murphy (three years, $22.5 million) and tackle Star Lotulelei (five years, $50 million). They also expect to feature third-round defensive tackle Harrison Phillips fairly prominently this year, as well. But Phillips won’t start, Murphy has struggled to stay healthy (and has never recorded a double-digit sack season), and Lotuleleihas not built his sterling reputation as a pass rusher.Hughes will spearhead the Bills’ pass-rushing efforts once again, and remains an underrated edge rusher despite mediocre sack totals (he has just 15 sacks in his last three seasons combined). The Bills are banking on a healthy Murphy, an improved Shaq Lawson, and a more seasoned Eddie Yarbrough helping them generate pressure more consistently, but there are no proven commodities here.While the Bills attempt to put together a competent offense again Authentic Matt Milano Jersey , they’re counting on big plays from their defense to keep them afloat. Without a better pass rush, that may be tough to come by. Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy left the game on the second offensive snap on Sunday. He joins a growing list of injuries to key players on the Bills are they head into a Monday Night Football contest against the New England Patriots.McCoy, originally though to have a leg injury, is in the league’s concussion protocol after being up-ended and landing hard on the crown of his head on the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. He could also be dealing with an ankle injury, but until he clears concussion protocol that’s irrelevant. McCoy was replaced by Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy, who did a good job in his stead. Fellow running back Taiwan Jones remains week-to-week with a neck injury.Also injured in the game was defensive end Trent Murphy, who McDermott said was “week to week”. That injury designation is usually not a good sign from the Bills coach. It’s the latest in a series of injuries Murphy has dealt with since joining the team this offseason. At quarterback, Derek Anderson was nicked up enough in the first half where Nathan Peterman thought he’d be going in to start the second half. Despite that, Anderson was announced as the starter for the game against the Patriots as Josh Allen has been ruled out with his elbow injury.
  15. The Los Angeles Rams won their first contest against the Seattle Seahawks to go 5-0. The Seahawks had dropped to 2-3. Entering this week’s contest the Rams had stayed mostly hot Aaron Donald Jersey Elite , entering at 8-1 while the Seahawks have fought to improve to 4-4.A win for the Rams could essentially clinch things in the NFC West as the Rams would be in a very comfortable situation.Here are the Seahawks that will do their best to prevent an early division crown heading back to Los Angeles.QB Russell WilsonThe Seahawks are led by Wilson. When the Rams played Seattle in Week 5, Wilson was struggling. At that point, he had not shown his typical self. The Rams game was his best game to date and since then, Wilson had a bit of a hot streak. After posting the best QBR of the season in Week 5, Wilson went on to have two very strong games, posting a 98.9 QBR two weeks ago. For the season, Wilson has thrown for 1,791 yards with a 66.1% completion percentage. He boasts a 18-5 TD:INT ratio while also having 118 rushing yards for the season.WR David MooreWho? Oh the guy that scored two touchdowns against the Rams last contest. Moore is a former seventh round pick that started to hit his stride after that breakout performance against the Rams. Moore has had eight receptions, 160 yards, and two touchdowns since the last contest bringing his season totals to 13 receptions on 21 targets for 237 yards and four touchdowns.EDGE Frank ClarkClark comes into the contest as the sack leader for the Seahawks with 7.5 so far. In addition, Clark has also intercepted a pass while forcing three fumbles. In the first Rams-Seahawks tilt, Clark had two tackles, including a tackle for loss Authentic Todd Gurley Jersey , and a pass defended. The Rams offensive line will have their hands full with Clark as they look to neutralize him like they mostly did in the last contest.RB Mike DavisWith some injury concerns to Chris Carson, there’s a chance that Mike Davis will be the lead back on Sunday. Davis had actually scored in the last contest against the Rams and helped with a long 37-yard rush. For the season, Davis has 288 rushing yards and three touchdowns. LB Bobby WagnerWagner leads the Seahawks in tackles while also having the most passes defended. Against the Rams in Seattle, Wagner had eight total tackles. For the season Wagner has 52 total tackles and hopes to have a better effort against Todd Gurley as Gurley had rushed for three touchdowns. With the Denver Broncos getting steamrolled by the New York Jets last week, rookie receiver Courtland Sutton turned to teammates on the sideline and vowed to play hard until the very end.He fulfilled that promise by running the length of the field to wrangle down safety Marcus Maye at the 1-yard line and prevent an end-of-game pick-6.Sutton, who caught his first touchdown pass as a pro in the first quarter of Denver's 34-16 loss, was Case Keenum's target in the end zone on the final play of the game.The ball was batted around and ended up in hands of Maye, who took off down the sideline."I had already told everybody on the sideline there ain't no quit offensively and defensively," Sutton said. "There was no quit. We were going to fight to the end no matter what the score was. And I was going to give everything I had until the clock said zero-zero-zero."Maye chugged his way through would-be tacklers for a 104-yard interception return.He needed 105."That's a pride play," Broncos linebacker Todd Davis said. "The last thing you ever want to do is let another team score.""I think everybody on the sideline knew that there was no quit in me," said Sutton, whose stop at the 1-yard line left Maye with the longest interception return without a score in NFL history.Maye, who was playing in just his second game since missing most of training camp and the preseason while dealing with ankle and foot injuries Todd Gurley Jersey Elite , buried his helmet in the turf after getting tackled just shy of the goal line while teammate Parry Nickerson patted him on the back.Neither Maye, who ran a total of 140.7 yards on the return, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, nor Sutton said anything to each other after the play."Nah, I know he was tired because I was tired," Sutton said. "So, I just kind of laid there like catch your breath a little bit."Sutton's heart and hustle weren't lost on his teammates."It shows a lot about who he is, and I really appreciate that," Keenum said. "Not just what happened on the play, but just the type of guy he is. I'll line up and go fight with those guys any day."The Broncos are going to need some resiliency as they try to snap their three-game skid Sunday when they host the Rams (5-0) ."This is a game we know we can win against a team that nobody feels we can beat," Davis said.A forecast that calls for snow and temperatures in the lower 20s might also help slow LA's dynamic offense featuring Jared Goff, who leads the league with 1,727 yards passing , and Todd Gurley, who tops the NFL with seven TD runs."That's what we do here in Denver, man, we love the cold," nose tackle Domata Peko said. "We practiced all week in it, so hopefully these sunny LA boys come out here and see how cold it is."Special teams coordinator Tom McMahon said the Broncos "got lucky on Wednesday and had the blizzard, so I think the guys are ready for that. We got the same day Wednesday that I hope we get on Sunday, and we played through it pretty well."That was not a blizzard."To me it was," McMahon said. "The snowflakes were taller than me coming down."Sutton was impressed, too.That "was the first time I've ever played in snow," Sutton said. "It was a lot of fun. Everybody from up north they were laughing at me, telling me I needed to calm down. But I thought it was a lot of fun. I thought it was cool."Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: ://arniestapleton